Recent studies have shown that a father's diet can impact the health of his child.
We have known for a long time that the mother's health directly impacts the baby's health. We know that if the mother eats terribly that her child will be affected by the poor health choices. However, some of these studies tend to let dad off the hook. When a woman gets pregnant she has to change a lot of things about her lifestyle and yet dad may believe that his health and diet doesn't have to change at all. Well, stop right there dad, you might have to change just like mama!
According to a recent study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, a father's diet can indeed affect the quality of sperm and health of the offspring that are created from his sperm. Therefore, paternal health can create unhealthy children.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Via The Good Dad Project[/caption]
The data that was analyzed by researchers indicated that “paternal diet impacts on offspring health through both sperm genomic (epigenetic) and seminal plasma (maternal uterine environment) mechanisms…There is growing evidence that paternal diet, physiology, and environmental factors impact on sperm quality, post-fertilization development, and adult offspring health." The study further showed that if the father is eating low-protein food, his sperm quality is greatly reduced. A low-protein diet can make the baby “heavier with increased adiposity, glucose intolerance, perturbed hepatic gene expression symptomatic of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and altered gut bacterial profiles.” In laymen terms, having low sperm quality can put the child at risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes (both of which can lead to more severe medical conditions). Sperm health is negatively affected by poor diet as well as bad habits. "Smoking or consumption of nicotine in any form, for instance, is known to directly affect the sperm count or quality. Again, if the male partner is diabetic, it can also affect his sperm quality" said Dr. Goswami.
If a couple has decided to start trying for a baby then both individuals need to work at becoming healthier. The decision to become pregnant should not only affect the mother but should affect the father as well. Both the mother and the father should consider creating a diet full of fruits and plenty of green vegetables. They should also make sure to eat a balanced diet with many lean protein sources, multivitamins, and antioxidants.
Eating healthy has many benefits. Not only will you be healthier and your child will be healthier, but parents who follow a healthier diet have an easier time conceiving. Of course, consult your doctor to find out what sort of diet may be the healthiest for you!